After All the Machinations at the Supreme Court, Was It Worth It for Texas to Appeal the Interim Maps?

The verdict appears to be “yes.”  Rothenberg Political Report:

 While neither party gets its ideal scenario, the proposed map is likely to result in a split of the state’s four new congressional districts by creating three new Hispanic-majority seats that should be won by Democrats. The new map strongly resembles a “compromise” map that emerged earlier this month between Attorney General Greg Abbott and a Latino interest group – but it was a map that many Democrats and other Hispanic coalitions didn’t endorse or like.

Still, the map won’t help the calculus Democrats need to take back the House. While Democrats concede privately that the map is slightly better than the one the GOP-controlled legislature produced last year, they would have liked to have seen more gains, with three of the new seats solidly in their column. While Democrats should pick up at least two seats, an Austin seat transforms into a solid GOP seat and the 23rd remains a toss-up. The map could result in a 25-11 advantage for Republicans – a two seat gain for both parties, resulting in no real net change from the current 23-9 split.

Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett’s district was decimated in this proposal (as it was in the original GOP map), turning his 25th District into a GOP-leaning seat and likely forcing him to run in one of the new Hispanic districts, most likely the 35th District that stretches from Austin to San Antonio — a solidly Democratic seat with a 58 percent Hispanic population. Doggett will still likely face a primary from a Latino candidate, but with over $3.3 million in the bank, it would take a cash-flush challenger to take him on in an abbreviated primary campaign. State Rep. Joaquin Castro is still expected to run in the open 20th District, vacated by retiring Rep. Charlie Gonzalez.


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